The Aneurysm

“Don’t get me wrong
ah dae love ye
she wheeled it oot,
like a big black cannon
from her cherr at the fireplace,
lookin up fae her tea…

“ah dae love ye,
whit would be the point
o spilin yer hoaliday
an tellin ye afore ye went?
Whits the point
o that?
You gawin therr
an aw you kin think o
is that?”

But what it sounded like was

“Son, it’s hard enough
me knowin
I’m gonnae die
in the next few months
withoot huvvin tae look
at your greetin face
every day as well,
knowin it wiz ma fault
yir hoaliday wiz shite”


26 thoughts on “The Aneurysm

  1. I really enjoy poetry written in dialect. I have tried a few and being a Geordie, they are not far removed from what you did here, which just appeals to me, despite the content, which is harrowing. Great piece fella!

  2. Enjoyed the lovely dialect in spite of the sad nature of the piece. Seems the one thing in life we can count on is the unfairness when we least expect it, though no time is ever right to learn of such illness. Well penned.

  3. oh, this is sad and heartbreaking, wonderful and telling. i have an 86 year old friend, who could be the star of this poem. it’s a difficult difficult thing to do, this dying.

  4. Really enjoyed this Brian, and a very poignant subject. Like the dialect, it adds something. My auntie used to talk like this! And grandma, she was brought up in Etal, a few miles shy of ‘the border’.

    • It’s taken some time to work out how the dialect poems work for me. Readin Tom Leonard and his approach (placing the use of written dialect firmly to highlight the class nature of it and its use) had me thinking EVERYTHING in dialect for a while, but eventually I found it working for me solely in the context of family and the past… Although it IS the way I tend to speak all the time.

  5. Had to read a few times to get the meaning out of it. Missouri is the most southern I’ve been.. 😉
    It is a sad conversation, but a totally believable on as this stuff goes on everyday. It is sad to know your loved one is on the way out, but sadder still to know one is on the way out, and unintentionally spoiling life around for the loved ones.

  6. I wonder what it is about Scottish dialect in particular amongst the many dialects of the British Isles that produces striking verse. From Burns through Hugh MacDiarmid, Edwin Muir, William Soutar, George Mackay Brown, there have been some superb poems that match demotic spoken language with the further linguistic reaches of poetry. This is a fine addition to the canon with its delicate balance between the day-to-day utterance of its form and the tragic theme.

    • As I was saying to David, elsewhere, it took a while to work out in what context I’m more at home using dialect. The great thing about using it, is that the natural rhythms of the speech I grew up with fall into place easier and it does lend itself to the natural mix of the everyday and the ‘big’ theme. Thanks for what you said, it was very generous of you, Dick.

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